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Aggravated Film Ranting For People Who Love Film

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  • Pablum Biolab

    BIOLAB: Practice what you preach. Rant about film from a position of knowledge. A biological support unit and a blog for people who love film as much as they love to hate and love to love it. Not bad for a human.

Blaze of Glory: Ricky Gervais Presenting Golden Globes and THE END OF THE WORLD

Posted by Biolab on January 17, 2011

Following an impossible and undignified hiatus, Pablum Biolab is returning to fling fetid spats of furious opinion vaguely in the direction of the movie world and rant ineffectually at the world at large.

 NOT DISAPPOINTED, BUT DISAPPOINTED

 I didn’t watch the Golden Globes last night, nor would I ever watch such a precious hit-parade of vacuous backslapping and glittering pomposity, but I kind of wish that I had now. Not because I’m disappointed to have the missed the tasteless Vegas reject set, or the latest slew of plastic surgey hissed tattle-tale gossip or the simply fabulously expensive outfits. In fact, to steal from the great Tom Waits, you could put all of my desire to watch the Golden Globes inside a thimble and still have room for you and me. And I’m a fat bastard. 

WANKING AWAY CASH

Like the Royal Wedding (hurrah!), these sorts of over the top glitz displays of the rich and famous literally wanking away vast swathes of cash just seem totally inappropriate in this climate of austerity when people who previously could just about afford Ipods now can’t even get a loan to buy an Ipod on finance. And also, there are still people starving in this world. There is still a mass of third world debt and masses of people living in plastic bags without a Mac Book Air to call their own and with people wanting to kill them. I know it’s Bono’s job to bleat on about that like some vomitoriously insincere stuck record, and I know we pretend we don’t care about the starving and destitute, but I do feel a little bit sick that some people in London have 2 or 3 Iphones and there are refugees starving out there who don’t even have an old school Nokia to call their own.

Anyway, once again I get distracted by the shiny world of real issues. 

CUDDLY ABUSE

What I was essentially saying is that the Golden Globes and all those similar ceremonies are totally removed from the real world and actually are probably harbingers of the apocalypse in the sense that we obviously don’t care about our fellow human beings. Pffft. Change the record.

However, you could almost forget all this by virtue of the fact that Ricky Gervais was hosting the damn thing. Obviously, as a person who enjoys comedy, I have a bit of a jones for Ricky. In a world filled with the dead-eyed torments of Adam Sandler comedies and Jennifer Aniston torture vehicles, he’s continually proved that he has the ability to be a truly funny, sharp-mouthed bastard who genuinely says things. Sure, he’s not quite Bill Hicks, but at least he knows who Bill Hicks was.

And at the Globes, his opening speech unleashed a torrent of cuddly abuse that was as lovely to behold as it was horrible.

Here are some of the best things from that:

  • “It’s going to be a night of partying and heaving drinking — or as Charlie Sheen calls it: breakfast.”
  • “Everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist. I feel bad about that joke. I’m jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven’t even seen that movie. Who has?”
  • “Do you want to go see Cher? No. Why not? Because it’s not 1975.”
  • “There were a lot of big films that didn’t get nominated. Nothing for Sex and the City 2. I was sure the Golden Globes for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster.”
  • “Also not nominated I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. Two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So, the complete opposite of some famous Scientologist… My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke.”
  • “Our first presenter is beautiful, talented, and Jewish apparently. Mel Gibson told me that. He’s obsessed. Please welcome Scarlett Johansson.”
  • “Who is our next presenter from such films as Hudson Hawk, Look Who’s Talking, Mercury Rising, Color of Night, The Fifth Element, Hart’s War. Please welcome Aston Kutcher’s dad, Bruce Willis.”
  • “Next up, Eva Longoria has the daunting task of introducing the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press. That’s nothing, I had just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in.”
  • “I love this next presenter; he’s so cool. He’s the star of Iron Man. Two Girls and a Guy. Wonderboys. I’m sorry are these porn films? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Bowfinger? Up the Academy. Come on! He has done all of those films, but many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as The Betty Ford Clinic and the Los Angeles County Jail. Robert Downey, Jr.”
  • “And thank you to God. For making me an atheist.”

 LASHED TO A CRUCIFIX WHILST TENDING TO A BABY

 Apparently, he was absent from some of the ceremony after this (the very virtue that it’s called a ceremony speaks volumes of the cultish quasi-religious voodoo of our celebrity infested eyebrains), no doubt being given a good talking to by some do-gooing idiot or being lashed to some crucifix by a rifle weiling pricklet. And when he returned, reports say he was somewhat chastened. Gosh- I wish I’d watched the damn thing now instead of tending to an 8 month old baby.

Well, I doubt it matters to Mr Gervais anyway. He’s achieved what he wanted. He said after presenting this shame-fest last year that he didn’t think he ‘went far enough’ and that this year he guaranteed they ‘will not invite me back.’ He said he was going to ‘go out there, guns blazing, like it’s the end of the world.’ Good. It is.

And the best thing out of all this? The real story? Well, the real story isn’t actually what Ricky Gervais said at all. He’s essentially inconsequential in all this. The real story is the ridiculous response from the (mostly American) press and public, which is as hair-raisingly terrifying in its lumpen brain-addled vitriol and ignorance as it is gaspingly hilarious.

 When Flavourwire.com ran its own response to Gervais’ performance (http://flavorwire.com/143181/golden-globes-2011-ricky-gervaiss-top-10-zingers-of-the-night), the story was followed by a wash of crazy response from the wider world, which I present below for your delectation and amusement. They get better the further down you go, as the extreme viewpoints come out and the daggers are drawn. Of course, you can’t take anyone seriously if they don’t take the trouble to spell and punctuate properly.

All of this is properly scary and I’m sure we are all heading into the abyss very soon and will all burn in hell. On this evidence all I can say is: Good. Flame on!

 Flaming Regards

Biolab

 SOME RESPONSES TO GERVAIS’ PERFORMANCE

katieH • January 16th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

love him! He wrote the jokes for the viewers not the pretentious ‘stars’ in the room. They need to learn to laugh at themselves. Love, love Ricky!

sarah • January 16th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I thought he was totally mean. I actually turned off the show.

John • January 16th, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Missing is his line about Steve Carell: “I hired him to star in a remake of a show I starred in, which he’s now leaving, killing a cash cow for both of us. Please welcome Tina Fey and the ungrateful Steve Carell!”

maria • January 16th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

i thought he was hilarious 🙂
those stars can take it – they have a lot going for em.

Jen • January 16th, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I’d never heard of him before tonight and looks like I haven’t been missing out on anything.

Kate • January 16th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Mean yet hilarious (and true). They’re actors – they’re millionares! they are asking to be made fun of. Those who can’t handle it need to get over themselves.

Jaime • January 16th, 2011 at 11:31 pm

I thought he was very funny. They knew what they were getting when they hired him to host. Too many people have no sense of humor.

Blue • January 16th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Yeah! Did you think Steve Carrell was irritated with that joke or was he taking it in good fun? Also, Bruce looked PISSED when he came out. I prolly wud be too tho…all in all I thought Ricky was hilarious!

Peggy • January 16th, 2011 at 11:35 pm

LOVE Ricky Gervais. What’s so mean about telling the truth anyway? If those star’s over inflated egos can’t take it when someone makes a joke of their lives then they either shouldn’t have decided to try to make it in Hollywood OR they should lead a nice quiet life like the stars that Ricky didn’t make fun of… Love, love, love Ricky Gervais. Also, thank god I’m an atheist as well!

Al • January 16th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Thumbs up Ricky. The “Stars” are really in need of a sense of humor about themselves.

Blue • January 16th, 2011 at 11:37 pm

@Kate “they are asking to be made fun of because they are actors & millionaires” ??? Really?! So, just b/c they wanted to be actors when they grew up, actually followed their dream (so few people dare to even TRY) AND they achieved their dream they are ASKING to be made fun of? I am sorry but I disagree & I think that statement is unfair.

Cal • January 16th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Why is everyone saying “they need to get over themselves” as if the actors who got made fun of stood up and left? Seems like they were taking it just fine.

Gervais just wasn’t funny. An annoying one trick pony.

Ricky Gervais’ #1 fan • January 16th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Ricky Gervais was hilarious. His humor is what that ego-filled room needed.

MKA • January 16th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I LOVE him. But he is a little racy for the average white bread, Minnesota-nice American.

Goon • January 16th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

All in all the jokes are no worse than you see on late night TV daily. But if they’re in the room suddenly they’re not fair?

Raina • January 16th, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Ricky Gervais introduces the next two presenters as a man whose movies have made $3.5 billion and he’s won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes… and Tim Allen.

Hollywood wankers • January 16th, 2011 at 11:45 pm

The joke about Hefner was tops! Good on ya Ricky! “I’d like to thank God for making me an atheist.” I’m still laughing. I like how people are defending these celebrities as if they have anything in common with them.

meatball • January 16th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I like how Gervais makes fun of all the actors. He said it himself , he doesn’t make fun of things they can’t help. His best dig was the Robert Downey bit.
These award shows are so full of self engrandizement, it’s fun to see the actors being brought down a few notches.

Former Ricky Fan.. • January 16th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Was Triumph the Comic Insult Dog unavailable? He may have been a better choice – they wouldn’t have had to change anything – being as they’re the same size and everything!!!

JohnDoe • January 16th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Ricky Gervais absolutely torched some of the people in (and out) of that room. Best thing I’ve seen this year so far. And a big “LOL” goes out to all you sensitive-types who think he’s being mean to a bunch of ego-driven celebrities.

justsayin • January 16th, 2011 at 11:48 pm

They need to keep inviting Ricky back every year! His jokes were great…celebs basically hand them to him with their redic ways.

Amy • January 16th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Never heard of Rick before, but I certainly hope that I never see him again. I thought he was very obnoxious!
Also, what an uncalled for and cowardly remark to include in the last seconds of the show…….No wonder this world is the way it is!!!!!

Howie Feltersnatch • January 16th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Ricky was brilliant. Poor little celebrities in their designer clothes handing out pointless awards to each other. They deserve a good ribbing.

the SP King • January 16th, 2011 at 11:52 pm

ricky is the guvnor!!! they definitely dropped him

selene luz • January 16th, 2011 at 11:53 pm

What a bunch of stiffies Gervais tried to entertain. Between the tv audio censorship(are we children?) and the pretentious(mostly) actors, the show was just not what it used to be—remember when there was no such thing as ‘bleeping?!’ I watched just so I could laugh at the unique comedic genius of RG! Aside from his real persona, it felt sterile and contrived. Wish I could just see him laugh every morning, it’d make going out into the world a lot easier.

Zaviar Wun • January 16th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Thank you Ricky; you killed it! This is like Colbert going after Bush at that Correspondents dinner a few years back; the room might have turned on him but for the viewer it made for a bitingly hilarious experience. Glad someone is still fearless enough to not pander to these folks. Ricky speaks the truth, regardless of what Downey or Hanks might say against him (and sorry Downey Jr., but the tone didn’t feel “sinister” to me at all, just honest).

ATHEISTS unite! • January 16th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Best line of the show: “I’d like to thank god for making me an atheist!”
Oh, this guy is great! He should host every award show.

p Short • January 16th, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Hollywood and the A list actors do not exist anymore! Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were actually in the audience listening to this crap tonight????

Lindy • January 16th, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Just goes to show you that heavy drinking affects good judgment. Not surprising for an atheist!

elise maiberger • January 17th, 2011 at 12:02 am

Good on you, Ricky. You were brilliant. Hollywood stars, whiny, spoiled ego-maniacs that can’t laugh at themselves. Sorry he didn’t pander to your enormous, frail egos.

Bonnie • January 17th, 2011 at 12:03 am

I think he is funny, but I think those jokes were better suited to a one man show rather than an awards show. And the idea that anyone should have to take someone being cruel about them or someone they care about because they make money or are in a occupation that makes them well known is a ridiculous idea.

Susan • January 17th, 2011 at 12:03 am

He was totally funny, although I squirmed a little bit during the Bruce Willis and Tourist jokes. Ouch! I can’t imagine he’ll be back next year. I loved his last line most of all. If you’ve seen his current stand-up act on HBO, that one makes more sense.

Fleet • January 17th, 2011 at 12:06 am

Amy at January 16th, 2011 at 11:50 pm writes, “I thought he was very obnoxious! Also, what an uncalled for and cowardly remark to include in the last seconds of the show…….No wonder this world is the way it is!”

Yes Amy, the world is the way it is because Ricky Gervais doesn’t believe in God. You delusional, sad, sorry excuse for a human being. The world couldn’t be the way it is because of U.S. foreign policy, lack of financial regulations or the Anglo-Israeli rape of the Middle East. It has to be Ricky Gervais’ fault because he can see the forest from the trees. You are an idiot. Or a typical American. It works the same.

ya big ‘mo • January 17th, 2011 at 12:08 am

Sorry I missed it. Gervais is hilarious. Anyone that thinks these actors are Gods, needs to put down their semen stained copy of People and get a life. Not mentioning anybody in particular, but multiple punctuations are indirectly proportional to one’s IQ.

mq • January 17th, 2011 at 12:12 am

thought he was better last year

Blue • January 17th, 2011 at 12:14 am

AMEN Fleet!

Karla • January 17th, 2011 at 12:19 am

Most of these comments are ridiculous. Why are you all assuming the the actors/recipients had no sense of humor or “Couldn’t take it”? They seemed to handle him just fine. However, his sense of humor tonight would have been appropriate if he were hosting a Roasting of a celebrity. Most of his comments were not at all appropriate for an awards show! Most of all, his last comment thanking God for him being an Athiest was just insulting and stupid. It’s obviously a contradiction in itself and caused him to lose many prior Ricky Gervais fans. I enjoyed his hosting last year but his last remark leaves me feeling very sorry for him. It was just pathetic!

Cathy Alterman • January 17th, 2011 at 12:20 am

I don’t hate actors, nor do I think they need to be taken down a peg. Ricky was hilarious! Pure and simple. America, if you don’t like Ricky then you have truly lost your ability to laugh at yourselves. Ricky, I love you and so does any person with a funny bone in their body.

carolfro • January 17th, 2011 at 12:24 am

Gervais’ humor is typically British; you have to think about it for a second or two before you get it. It doesn’t hit you in the face. I think he is hilarious. Other than that, I also think he gotten a little too thin! Needs a little more weight on to be really funny. Sorry.

Kate • January 17th, 2011 at 12:25 am

@blue ok a bit of an overreaction there but I guess I should clarify. Actors who are paid millions to , yes, live their dream have room to be made fun of. So many take themselves so seriosly wihthout any self deprication… Those pol should have fun made at their expense. I don’t know why I’m responding… This is the most idiotic thing to be in conflict over but oh well.

Callie • January 17th, 2011 at 12:29 am

I felt sick after I watched the Golden Globes and I have decided I am not watching any more award shows at all. I thought Gervais was cruel and just rude to many people who are working hard or who have tried to do better with their lives (like Robert Downey, Jr.). Gervais just seems like an insecure guy who needs to make fun of others to make himself feel better, it is not funny. By his last comment in the last few seconds of the show to a home audience filled with many people who believe in God, how cowardly and offensive. I saw a bit of his most recent HBO special and I turned it off when he tried to disprove the Holy Bible. I will pray for Gervais because, as my husband says he is lost as a golf ball in high weeds.

SavedbyJesus • January 17th, 2011 at 12:33 am

Two thumbs down to you Fleet{Enema}. Blue clearly doesn’t understand that Amen is a comment after a prayer. Are you an atheist, too?

I will pray that all of you will accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior before it is too late.

Frances • January 17th, 2011 at 12:35 am

I am a huge fan of Extras and The Office, both full of mean jokes, but mean jokes are only funny when the subjects are in on the jokes (like celeb guests on Extras), or unsympathetic in some way (like David and Gareth on The Office). I felt like so many of the jokes tonight were cheap shots against people who did nothing to deserve it. The worst ones were the ones about The Tourist. Sure, it had issues but to mock it so viciously on a night everyone else was there to celebrate it was not funny and not cool.

Shay • January 17th, 2011 at 12:38 am

Gervais acted like an insensitive douche and no gentleman- isn’t a host meant to be more the latter? I’m not a fan.

kindatiredofmorons • January 17th, 2011 at 12:38 am

Fleet wrote: “Yes Amy, the world is the way it is because Ricky Gervais doesn’t believe in God. You delusional, sad, sorry excuse for a human being….”

Boy Fleet, you certainly put her in her place for being judgmental and simplistic!

Good work, Mr. Gervais, for not giving a crap about how oversensitive so many Americans (especially famous ones) are!

Angela • January 17th, 2011 at 12:42 am

If it weren’t for the British accent this could have ended up much worse. It was pretty uncomfortable to watch. I had to mute the tv when Sandra bullock came on in fear he’d say something about her divorce! The guy doesn’t hold back though so yah gotta give him credit for that.

Deb • January 17th, 2011 at 12:50 am

Very inappropriate. Comments he made about some of the stars were very inappropriate and last but not least, the comment he made about God making him an Atheist, was completely inappropriate. The show was to honor show business and the people involved, not to bash people’s religious beliefs. Won’t watch next year.

God’s Girl • January 17th, 2011 at 12:53 am

How sad that he is proud of being an atheist.

Eric Brose • January 17th, 2011 at 12:54 am

Please don’t bring back Alexa Chung on the red carpet next year. She’s obviously not comfortable around people. She should probably work I.T. instead. Between her off-putting and awkward handling of celebrities followed by Ricky Gervais’s “jokes”, it makes me wonder if there will be fewer that show up next year.

Since I’ve lost jobs in the past, I empathize with how Gervais will feel tomorrow. The introductions of Sandra Bullock and Bruce Willis were especially hideous; neither of them are jerks, but he sure was. Please bring on Carell or Stewart or Colbert or Griffin.
All of them are funnier.

dramatic irony • January 17th, 2011 at 12:56 am

Callie:

He might be the golf ball, but in that case you’re the high weeds, and whereas he’s flying, you’re cluelessly stuck stagnating.

religion isn’t the problem, atheism likewise, its the ignorance associated with both, and more often, the former…his last comment, i believe, was directed not at religion, but at the stupidity and ignorance of the shows audience.

Obscure Omen • January 17th, 2011 at 1:00 am

I, for one, found him hilarious, and if the HFPA was unhappy with his comedy/jokes, then it’s their fault for inviting him back to host. He’s well-known for his type of comedy, and he’s not going to transform into a “nice” comic overnight. Honestly, stop yelling at Ricky; he did what he said he’d do. He didn’t lie or dupe anyone.

Karla and Db: It’s called humor. Please, invest in it. Thanking God for making him an atheist isn’t insulting or bashing religion, and he’s not an idiot for saying it—he understands that thanking God for making him an atheist makes no logical sense, but he’s parodying the entire “thanking God” bit of speeches. Now, if he said that people who believe in God are stupid? Then yes, that’s insulting. But if you’re taking him seriously enough that you think that that was an insult, I think you may need to calm down and learn how to joke around. It’s as insulting as a Darwin fish. Please get over yourself. If you’re looking for insults to people of faith, how about you focus on all the bigots keeping Muslims from worshiping in peace?

On a general note, can people stop with the atheism bashing? Just respect others’ beliefs and mind your own business. Honestly.

Nadine • January 17th, 2011 at 1:02 am

Good grief people! When did we all become such self centered, egotistical people to where we can’t laugh at ourselves?
So he made jokes of others downfalls. I’m sorry, have you ever laughed at someone falling over? Because I have. So, you’re laughing at others expense, as he was doing this evening.
And when I fall over, and people laugh at me, I’m laughing right along with them. Beacuse it’s FUNNY.
So lighten up. People need to learn to laugh at themselves more. Movie stars are people, like everyone else. As my mum would say, they wipe their own bums just like we do!

disgusted • January 17th, 2011 at 1:06 am

Ricky Gervais was aweful. I happened to turn it on towards the end of the show. His comment about God was way out of line. Terrible. I wouldn’t watch him ever again.

McCoy • January 17th, 2011 at 1:19 am

To all the Gervais-bashers out there. Newsflash : He doesn’t care about losing gigs, or popularity or upsetting celebrities.

Having watched this guy from the start of his career on the 11 0′clock show onwards I am confident in saying he is grounded in reality and is not taken in by the facade of fame & celebrity.

I actually thought he went a bit “Hollywood” for a while there, but tonight he redeemed himself in my eyes and went full Bill Hicks on this celebrity obsessed country.

Well done Mr.Gervai. Nice to have you back 🙂

Amused • January 17th, 2011 at 1:20 am

I second Nadine. I laughed so hard. Love Ricky Gervais. Loved all the jokes, especially the one about Sandra! Don’t you people realize how BORING that show would be without a funny host? People who don’t enjoy Ricky have lost their sense of humor. Or they don’t appreciate dry humor. Either way, their loss. If the HFPA has him again next year, I’ll gladly tune in.

McCoy • January 17th, 2011 at 1:30 am

I remember all these celebrities waxing lyrical about Gervais’ genius off the back of The Office & Extras. Anyone who has seen his work in those should know what to expect.

His monologue in the Extras finale gives plenty of insight into the man’s views on celebrity culture. He didn’t just act it HE WROTE it! Did these people think he wasn’t sincere in that.

Regarding his atheist comment, again, he has talked of I often and mentioned it numerous times in his stand-up shows.
Why the surprise? Why the outrage?

What was so offensive anyway, it was a nice, cute ironic little closer.

No mor offensive than soldiers thanking God for helping them kill other people who are also thanking him. Who’s side is he on anyway???

Martin • January 17th, 2011 at 1:39 am

Ricky Gervais’s humor is very British in that part of its effect occurs through seeing funny things in uncomfortable situations. Gervais poked at the excessive egotism of the entertainment industry, and at the very idea of celebrity. For example, why was his joke about Bruce Willis funny? Because EVERYONE knows that Demi Moore is Bruce’s ex-wife, and that she is a ‘cougar’ married to a younger Ashton Kutcher etc etc…Ask yourself why you know exactly who he was referring to with his scientology joke?–we simply know too much as it is about the lives of celebrities. Gervais took a hammer to the cult of celebrity and I applaud him for it.

BTW, Gervais is not a ‘nobody’ or a ‘one trick pony’. He is the creator of the #1 comedy on TV (The Office) and the most downloaded podcast series ever. He’s had hit movies. In the UK he has created or starred in numerous top-rated TV shows. Thus he is as much a celebrity as many of the people he roasted tonight. He is not a jealous outsider to celebrity-dom, but an insider who is aware of the sheer absurdity that goes along with being a celebrity, and is able to point out this absurdity– as uncomfortable as it may make some feel. Again, I applaud him.

And for those of you uptight about his atheist joke, if you don’t understand the irony you ought to turn off the TV anyway and pick up a book.

Horrid • January 17th, 2011 at 1:50 am

Being a rude asshole to me is only funny, maybe, at a comedy show. It was embarrassing and difficult to watch and just way too harsh. Really, being mean is just not funny (unless you have sadistic issues)! And mean and cruel is what he was. Yes, maybe some of these movie and t.v. stars may be egomaniacs, bitches or jerks, but this is a show about honoring the art of acting, writing, creating and producing, and to those of you who hate these folks because some of them have become rich doing what they do, then quit watching these shows! I hope they will be more careful selecting the host(ess) in the future. Yuck!

Horrid • January 17th, 2011 at 1:52 am

And by the way, do ya think Betty Ford might be a very good idea for this guy!?! Yep, probably.

McCoy • January 17th, 2011 at 1:57 am

In reply to Horrid:

I NEVER watch award shows. I only watched this one because Mr.G ervais was hosting it, and I am very glad I did.

Marie • January 17th, 2011 at 2:07 am

I think he’s a total a/h. To take the liberty of conveying his personal hatred toward God at the close of the show with an atheistic comment was really disrespectful of the majority of this nation and many others watching. Gay, straight, Christiain, Jew…this is a country who’s currency and coins say’s, “In God We Trust”. Who the hell cares if he is an atheist and what is the Foreign Press thinking if they tolerate that B.S. No need for anyone to hear about peoples political or religious choices just because they are hosting a show, but it is idiotic and unacceptable to make a comment like that. He had the nerve to talk about antisemitism when he spoke of Mel Gibson and then turned around and kicked dirt in the face of people who believe in God by getting his last word in. Humor is one thing, I think he is mean-spirited. Shame on the HFPA if they have him back.

Susi • January 17th, 2011 at 2:17 am

Ha ha ha! Oh dear, squirming when I watched some of it, but still, that was true to form and hilarious and every comment had truth to it – he just said what everyone thinks but is afraid to say. It was kind of mean, but hell, they have people kissing their arses 24hours a day, I think they can take a little roasting. He commented on their foibles, it’s not like he said “Blah Blah has a big nose”, or “a fat arse”.

Oh and to all of the poor offended Christians out there, sobbing over his atheist comment, he didn’t insult your religion, he was making a funny comment on the “Thank you God” speeches so common at awards shows (more often music awards shows though). They drive me nuts. Like God has something to do with them winning or what they’ve received in life? If God is responsible for those things, then he/she/it is ALSO responsible for babies born with AIDS, children being raped, illness, death and deprivation on a massive scale. The ridiculous “Thank you God” speeches are insulting to people whose lives aren’t wonderful.

RG took a chainsaw to the egotism and self-aggrandizm of Hollywood and he was brilliant at it.

McCoy • January 17th, 2011 at 2:21 am

How can he “hate” god? He doesn’t believe in one and that’s all he said.

Would it have been offensive if he’d said he DOES believe in a god, if not then why is it offensive to state he doesn’t believe in a god, or that he doesn’t like the taste of chicken or that he doesn’t enjoy watching baseball.

How can you get upset because someone tells you they DON’T believe in something?

Do yu believe in Allah? Zeus? The Tooth Fairy? If not is it offensive to say so?

Obscure Omen • January 17th, 2011 at 2:22 am

Okay, Marie. Let’s do this.

1) So now it’s terrible to be an atheist? That’s definitely American. Or was I wrong and was America NOT settled as a haven for the persecuted religious minorities? Or that the First Amendment allows for the freedom of religion? Or that the Constitution and none of our government-making legislation contain any reference to God?

Being an atheist isn’t disrespecting other religions. Comments like the one you just posted do that well enough on their own.

2) Our currency didn’t always say “In God We Trust.” That didn’t appear on the coins until a good 70+ years after the US was founded, and it wasn’t put on our dollar bills till the 1950s. So, no, you can’t just claim that the US is a country built on God and Judeo-Christian religions, because the Founding Fathers went out of their way to make sure such language wasn’t present.

3) It’s a joke. Get over it. Just think of all the comedians who mention how they’re Jewish or Catholic or whatever during their routines—FOR COMEDIC PURPOSES. It’s no different than that. As I said before, what he said was no more disrespectful or insulting to the religious than the Darwin fish.

4) Are you really comparing antisemitism to a passing joke—a parody of the infamous “thank you, God,” speeches—about his lack of belief in God? They are not comparable. Perhaps if he’d said that religious people should be persecuted or are below the “almighty atheists,” then yes, you could make that call. But it was a passing comment made purely for comedy that didn’t single out a single religion or even put God in a negative light.

Once again: It’s a joke. Get over it. Move on. If you want to find something that’s really disrespectful, focus on how much bigotry there is against Islam in this country. Get back to me once you sort that out.

This may seem a bit over-the-top, but the double-standards that exist when talking about religion really get to you after a while. And the painful amount of ignorance.

Mutual feelings • January 17th, 2011 at 2:25 am

I do think Ricky was funny and pushed the onvolpe and said some mean but true things, but some were not necessary they were inappropirelte and uncalled for. The part about thanks to God for him being atheist not only had not thing to do with the golden globes but it didn’t make sense. Even if you are a cretian religion or aren’t that was not called fo,r I don’t care what you believe for anyone that should not have been said. Religion should not be brought up at a public thing like that and your opinion on it should not be announced.

Kate • January 17th, 2011 at 2:26 am

Ricky Gervais remark about “I’d like to thank God for being an Atheist” should have been BEEPED. It gave no one a chance to respond, not even the audience who attended. I for one will NEVER watch the Golden Globes again as it was the responsibility of the censors to bleep, beep or cover that type of comment… had he said the N word, something about Muslims or some other ethnic derogatory statement that surely would have been covered by a beep. Anytime when you present a statement like that when nobody has a chance to respond is a truly cowardly act – he shoved his beliefs down everyone’s throat…what’s wrong with our society that it is OK to put down God – HE is on our money, the constitution, our Government was founded on Christianity and whether you are a strong Christian or not this still shouldn’t be alright. And Ricky being British should not be an excuse either. Like I said, I won’t forget about this, and will NOT watch the Golden Globes next year or anytime after that. I will however, share my comments with all I know and those I don’t !! Take a stand Americans, this is OUR COUNTY which was founded on faith and belief of GOD

NorCalTopaz • January 17th, 2011 at 2:35 am

I’m not an uber-sensitive, Bible-thumping zealot. With that said, there is various types of humor and there is crossing the line.

Ricky Gervais crossed the line on more than one occasion on tonight’s Golden Globes and kudos to Robert Downey, Jr., Tim Allen, and the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press for witty retorts.

Ricky Gervais is a true ass*&le without a cause. He wishes he had one iota of the talent of a Whoopi Goldberg or a Billy Crystal.

McCoy • January 17th, 2011 at 2:37 am

RE Kate’s comments:

Can you say IRONIC??? LOLOL

The Fitness Enthusiast • January 17th, 2011 at 2:39 am

“I love this next presenter; he’s so cool. He’s the star of Iron Man. Two Girls and a Guy. Wonderboys. I’m sorry are these porn films? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Bowfinger? Up the Academy. Come on! He has done all of those films, but many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as The Betty Ford Clinic and the Los Angeles County Jail. Robert Downey, Jr.”

Woah, that was a tad bit harsh.

RR • January 17th, 2011 at 3:09 am

Loved Ricky Gervais. He was completely fearless in a room full of hacks and egos. Classic last line.

Mutual feelings • January 17th, 2011 at 3:11 am

@Kate I completly agree with you they should have beeped it out but it happened so fast and was at the very end I don’t think they new it was coming or else they would have

Islamic Women Clothes • January 17th, 2011 at 3:16 am

How sad that he is proud of being an atheist.

Kate • January 17th, 2011 at 3:22 am

@NorCalTopaz nor am I an uber-sensitive, Bible-thumping zealot. Thank you for your comment.. I just get so tired of that type of thing being ok

Also thanks, Mutual Feelings.. it’s nice to know some find this type of statement unacceptable oh and isn’t there that 2 sec. or so delay for censoring? Just a thought – perhaps they should find more on the ball censors ???

Sara • January 17th, 2011 at 3:26 am

This country was founded on religious freedom…not just Christian freedom. People are also allowed to believe in God or not believe in God. And if you’re really being a good Christian then let his comments or behavior strengthen your personal testimony of your personal belief as opposed to passing judgment on someone you don’t know. And I just can’t see how it was cowardly…he will face the wrath of such statements for the rest of his career if it were really that big of a deal, not just that night. I’m not condoning all of his comments, but get a grip. If you want religious freedom you much also allow others in this country to have it as well. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or Atheist!

craig • January 17th, 2011 at 3:30 am

I think that hes a discrimative superioristic punk. im surprised no one bashed him back on stage, like they were too stupid and did not know what to say. if he wanted to call me out like that i would bash his face in on stage.

Sick of This Ignorance • January 17th, 2011 at 3:33 am

“Atheist” isn’t a filthy word. A parody of the exhausted “thank you, God, for _____” part of acceptance speeches isn’t a curse. It’s also not anti-religion or anti-God; it’s not meant to harm, hurt, insult, bash, or disrespect. It’s a parody. It’s humor. It’s supposed to be witty and amusing.

Now, if you didn’t find it funny, witty, and amusing, well, that’s your opinion. But some people did.

There is absolutely no reason for it to be beeped out, even if our country were a “Christian country.” (For more on that, you can always read up here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F9CNxKva2g9A_RcQIXuSWCvFQ8RpolXpO1tNhgYN3Ec/edit?hl=en. Yay for knowledge.) Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. It’s not degrading or crass, so there’s no grounds for censoring anything. If it appears degrading, it’s a matter of your own perception, not of what was said and meant. It was meant to be a witty parody; that’s it.

Thank you for your time.

Rita • January 17th, 2011 at 3:43 am

He was the only reason I tuned in to this. I haven’t seen any of the movies, don’t care about any of the stars (except maybe Robert De Niro), and he was hilarious. Thanks, Ricky! Excellent standup!

Rita • January 17th, 2011 at 3:46 am

For those upset about the ‘atheist’ remark, that’s part of Ricky’s standup routine. He’s an atheist and proud of it. Good for him! Should he hide in a closet? Get with it. It’s 2011. Plus, it’s funny.

kat • January 17th, 2011 at 4:19 am

I absolutely bloody love how many people are upset at the atheist remark!
Why don’t you all google the word SATIRE before you blow your lid over a little comment that really affects you in no way whatsoever?

Ricky was trying to piss you off, and it worked, because religious people are sickeningly predictable.

Truth • January 17th, 2011 at 4:22 am

First of all, the entire award show was a promotion for teenage fags and its okay to be married to the same sex and raise kids. Ex: “Glee”, “The Kids All Alright”. Now kids who barely know what they like and don’t like are forced into this new world. Thinking “maybe I was born this way”. Sure, still not scientifically proven… Also, does anyone’s bible, religion or whatever spiritual history says same sex marriage is ok? Therefore, his atheist comments were minor to what religion, etc is supposed to represent. He was just vocally direct, not smoky mirrors about his opinions and irony. All done as a “joke”.

Overall, my point is that the whole world is full of contradictions and very suspect. Including this fake show, honoring many who slept their way to the top, doing evil and hateful things to get where they are, using men to create babies to be single mothers, stealing husbands, adopting for publicity, treating everyday people like crap (which most of them once were and still really are). All types of stuff and we only see the results as if “talent” makes it okay. Stop praising these tainted folks, most didn’t get this far without the things mentioned above. Was Ricky’s performance right or wrong? Heck all this crap is **%# just different toilets.

Don’t drink the kool-aid!
Source: It’s no secret to those inside the business.

Excellent • January 17th, 2011 at 4:24 am

Thank you Ricky for putting a dent in the egos of these self-absorbed celebrities! This was the first Golden Globes I’ve tuned into and it was hilarious because of him.

And to all those offended by the atheist comment… This country wasn’t founded on religion, ONE of the principles it was founded on was FREEDOM of religion. That includes choosing to or not to believe in god. Thank you Ricky for being a proud atheist and not hiding what you believe. Plus, his comment wasn’t a bash on religion or god, as others have said. It was just an ironic, funny comment about how people always thank god at the end of speeches. So god bless you to all in this comment thread who understand humor and can take a good joke. 😉

craig • January 17th, 2011 at 4:49 am

looks like eveyone jumped on the ricky bandwagon. dudes not that smart, and made the award show look stupid. others on the show didnt do nothing either because they had no guts. i guess the whole world can watch and see how stupid the white people look again.

Host Ricky Gervais Rocks Golden Globes | Neon Tommy • January 17th, 2011 at 5:12 am

[…] Flavorwire has put together the top 10 Gervais zingers of the night here. […]

UraKunt • January 17th, 2011 at 5:15 am

Ha ha ha.. You’re fucking insane Kate and all you other fundies… What are you even doing watching tv? Shouldn’t you be home schooling your children or picketing a funeral somewhere?

AnneW • January 17th, 2011 at 5:49 am

Most of his jokes were mean but I’m sorry I kinda laughed at some.

Posted in Bitterness, celebrities, comedy, despair, film, Jennifer Aniston, movies, news, pop culture, ranting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GAME OVER MAN – James Cameron Avatars up Aliens

Posted by Airlock on August 27, 2010

SUCCESS = REPETITION   

Sometimes a film can be like a parasite burrowing further inside of you until it finally reaches your cold mechanical heart, where it builds a nest. Like a quality hooker, part of having a personal affection for a film is about coming back for more and things still standing up. That means rewatching on home video and if you’re a tech enthusiast with cash to invest, that’s probably going to mean Home Cinema.   

Unlike a melted T3 DVD, Blu Ray is an over-hyped but under-valued medium – it means we can watch movies at home on a big screen (>50″) but with cinema projector-like quality. We can also enjoy sound quality which is a digital copy of the original recordings (like comparing CD to MP3). BRAVO! Now our love for a few precious movie gems can grow and blossom inside of us like a xenomorphic parasite as we rewatch them over and over again (with a cinema-like experience) until they burst through our skin like a spot and pour all over us leaving us feeling like a jellied but satisfied eel. Or… we can enjoy The Strause Brothers’ latest soul destroying snooze-fest without having to put up with those tracksuit wearing, back of the seat kicking, acid spitting chavs…unless I invite them back to my house for a cuddle and a Magners.   

A TO B – an art in itself   

Chance would be a fine thing. You see the process of getting the final mastered film into digital reproduction requires a human element. I may be a cold and mechanical yet functional object but I’m sure even I could have done a better job at transferring John McTiernan’s jungle-sci-fi-action romp Predator than the effort on the Ultimate Hunter Edition. Look at this!   

Davis Entertainment: Predator (on loan from Madam Tussauds)

   

Why does Dillon look like he just walked out of Madam Tussauds? Because the technician has applied a ludicrous amount of Digital Noise Reduction which has scrubbed the image to such an extent that all the detail is lost, much like the point. Now, I don’t wanna get silly about whether you can pick out a particular hair on someone’s arm but if there a noticeable difference or even worse, the feel of the film is changed because of some post-production work which is applied decades after the film was in the cinema….well… then I’m cross! ‘Blow you out the god damn airlock’ cross.   

CAMERON – Come back to Earth, we miss you!   

I LOVE James Cameron’s late ’80s/early ’90s movies. I love them like a son or a particularly amazing dog (such as Biolab’s dog F*I*S*T*). Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, T2. All great. But now I hear that Cameron is about to release a remastered version of Aliens on Blu Ray. The film stock that they used has turned out to be quite rubbish so to get a decent picture Cameron and the colourist he “worked with for Avatar” has “de-noised it, de-grained it, up-rezzed and color-corrected every frame”. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m worried that a film that I love is about to be stomped on – probably more worried than what might happen with The Thing or Alien prequels (because if they’re rubbish I can just ignore them). I know I’ll buy Aliens AGAIN, so that I can enjoy it on my big screen and enjoy the wonderful immersive detail but I don’t want Aliens to look like Avatar – an all CGI, fluorescent wax works.   

Seriously can’t you take a step back from this Avatar thing? For what it is, it’s OK but move on. Why not make something low key but which still has punch?  I mean we’re now being treated to an extended cut of Avatar in the cinemas (so that they can continue making money after it was pulled due to contractual obligations) but there’s talk of an even longer cut “to wallow in” being made available on Home Video. Enough is enough – don’t make us the editor by putting everything you shot onto disc and telling us to sort it. Make a decision – you’re the director.     

Oh…..yeah did you guys also hear the there’s going to be a Blu Ray release of the Star Wars Saga? My god, George Lucas is now 27 years away from when he was onto a good thing. When the films felt real enough that the fantasy element was immersive. God only knows what those releases will look like – one thing’s for sure though – he’s sticking with the 2004 editions as it was “too expensive” to restore and transfer the originals. Pfffft. Something tells me that we’ll never again get to enjoy the original Star Wars Trilogy as we remember it and on a big screen – yours, mine or your local Megaplex.   

Blu(e) regards,   

Airlock   

p.s. I also hear vibrations over the web that there’s to be a rerelease of the Back To The Future Trilogy on Blu Ray and also a rerelease of the first installment to the cinema. Let’s make like a tree and keep our fingers firmly jammed up our backsides for this.

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Holy Super Overload! The Never-Ending Turgid March Of the Superhero Movies!

Posted by Biolab on August 27, 2010

Over the last decade it’s come to my unspeakable and bile-filled attention that there has been a never-ending slew  of superhero movies/comic book adaptations of wildly varying quality spewing across our bloodshot eyeballs and pulling up to our bumpers in a desperate whoreish bid for our attention. Every time you open up a magazine there’s some new super-franchise starting up, spread across the pages of our favourite pop movie trash mags like some sort of highly expensive super skid mark on our culture. And most of them are teeth-grindingly, eye-boilingly, hell-baggingly bad.

HURL INTO THE SUN

Of course, there have been some utterly triumphantly fantastic movies recently (The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2), as well as some that are competent and mildly enjoyable (Superman Returns, Watchmen), but there are still hundreds more that are total insults to the culture that spawned them and make you want to curl up with a good book and die (too many to mention). And it seems that now this torrent of ongoing superguff has been turned on, nobody is going to dare to have the decency to turn it off. Like a burst sewer main spewing out foul filth into our streets, everyone just walks by assuming it’s not their job to do anything about it and quite happy to let everyone get covered in vile, stinking ooze. Well now the situation’s got desperate! We need a real superhero to tell all these superhero movie-making apparent fanboy filmholes to shut up and pack up! We need some shining knight of quality control to pick up Joss Whedon (the forthcoming Marvel Avengers movie), Tim Story (Fantastic Four), Pitof (Catwoman), and all their obscenely opportunisticly untalented associates and hurl them into the sun or trap them inside a shard of black mirror in space or something.  

SUGAR COATED TURDS

Idiot-adoration figure and general all round slackjawed lying tosspot Joss Whedon’s latest venture, Avengers, packs just about as many unwatchable actors playing superheroes into one $150m movie as you could possibly imagine (most likely at the expense of any plot or character whatsoever) and as such it’s just not going to work. It’s going to be beyond AWFUL with a capital KICK IN THE FACE. Although it will make more cash than anything has any right to.  After the furore a short while back when Ed Norton was told he wasn’t going to be playing the Hulk (good news for him, I say. He can focus on doing something good instead), the hype machine has really been revving up to spout out sugar coated turds about this movie. Everyone else in the world seems to think that Whedon and his Avengers film will be the best thing since sliced bread, when really it is more likely to be the worst thing since child abuse.

Of course, I come to Whedon with a large degree of hate already. As a key player in the disastrous Alien Resurrection fiasco, Whedon essentially ended my childhood with a thoughtless burst of utter bilious uselessness, despite his pleading promises of being a true fan of the franchise. Pffft! Furthermore, he was largely responsible for the trash magazine shifting, hair dying, teen-pleasuring Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel phenomenons a few years back, which were analogous to the vulgar and exasperating bleating of a mobile phone in a library or the vile spectre of smallpox stalking a maternity ward hunting for babies to feast on. Buffy was a show that totally pissed the shit out of me the whole time it was blasting its wanton idiocy onto our screens and had me spitting blood into my hand and praying I was going to die. Of course, most of my lecturers at university seemed to love the programme. But I know for a fact that some of them had some sort of love party relationship directly with Whedon himself, so they had been corrupted like concentration camp guards in a totalitarian state.

ONCE AGAIN DISTRACTED BY HATE

Anyway, once again I get distracted by hate. As I was saying, I bitterly view the approach of Whedon’s latest vacuous waste of time with a bleeding heart and a venomous mouth, and I hope that it explodes like a turd-filled WMD before it actually makes it onto the poor long suffering cinema screens it is eagerly eyeing up.

 VOMITORIOUS EYE BURNING WITH A LUMP IN THE THROAT

So, let’s take a look at the vast vomitorious and crude display of invariably disappointing comic book adaptations/superhero movies that have been belched into our empty heads over the past few years or so, probably because the special effects have got cheaper and more ridiculous. All hail the blizzard of idiot pixels!

We’ve had a number of unnecessarily bad Blade movies, the soul-destroying awfulness of two Fantastic Four movies (even after the first one they still wanted to hurt us more), two surprisingly average Hellboy movies, two excellent Batman ones, Superman Returns, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, the half-successful film of the un-filmable graphic novel Watchmen, a trilogy of  mostly successful Spider-Men, two Hulks of varying quality, three pretty tedious X-Men movies (and a godawful Wolverine one), the beyond appalling delights of Daredevil and Electra, Catwoman, Ghost Rider, two Ironmen, a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the just about acceptable V for Vendetta, as well as numerous other non-traditional superhero-related movies such as the odious  Hancock, the excellent The Incredibles, and M Night Shyamalam’s inspiring Unbreakable.

Even the most cursory glance at this list should be enough to burn out your eyes and rot out your soul and make you realise just how often Hollywood has tried to use the cinema-going public as some sort of vast collective toilet, constantly expelling vast washes of soupy turd into our faces without even pausing to flush. Surely we must be getting backed up by now? I’m certainly feeling a lump in my throat, most probably cine-shit related. I don’t know if we should mention My Super Ex-Girlfriend at this point or just pretend it never happened, but unfortunately (like the Holocaust) it did.

GLUG DOWN THE WATERY PISS

We’ve now reached the point where a fairly average toy advert of a movie such as Iron Man seems like a relative artistic success in a sea of movies that are utterly beyond reproach. It doesn’t seem to matter to the powers that be whether a movie is any good or not. Even if it’s awful, it’ll still sell enough toys and t-shirts to the long-suffering parents of kiddies who don’t know any better. And then in a few months the studio will just reboot the whole franchise and water the shit down with even more piss before forcing us to glug it back once again like a Human Centipede.

IMPREGNATING YOUR KIDS!

And there’s a hell of a lot more useless tosh on the cards already, all too keen to get their grasping claws into your wallet and impregnate your kids (your kids, damnit!) with the vile spunk of their extra-textual self-replicating useless products and increasingly lazy and hackneyed spin offs. There’s Thor, Captain America, Avengers, (Edgar Wright’s) Ant-Man, The Green Hornet, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Dr Strange, Superman and Fantastic Four reboots, X-Men: First Class (think X-men the teen years, if you can bring yourself to do so without killing yourself and everyone around you in some sort of hideous sensationalised high school massacre), yet more Wolverine garbage, the little known Iron Fist AND the no doubt disappointingly irritating Spider-Man reboot (also likely to resemble some sort of ultra annoying OC-style movie catering for jerks and hair gellers and the pre-teens that love them in grooming chat rooms over the internet). All of this coming your way soon, like a freight train to the face and probably just as mentally destructive.

It’s an overload! It’s an invasion! It’s some sort of cumbersome and half-awake conspiracy of idiocy. Hollywood is like some sort of vast incontinently careless granny with superhero gunk seeping out of every dischargable orifice and we need to take her out with a heavy spade NOW.  

ASSHOLE OF HUMANITY

Despite my obvious fury, frankly I’m beyond caring. Like a boxer that’s been punched in the head for hours and hours or a sex crime victim unhooking their mind from the horror befalling their body as yet another drunken boor holds them face-down round the back of a motel, I’ve become an empty shell, a dumb receptor for whatever latest toss ejaculates out of the vast bulbous end of the greedy feckless Hollywood monster. It seems that as long as idiots have any money left, there will be a steady stream of mostly terrible superhero movies flooding our senses and edging more intelligent, unique, and interesting movies out of production and off of our screens. What we really need is a hero. Someone to use their powers for good and wipe these shits out of the asshole of humanity for good. Now he’s regarded as ‘the UK’s leading film critic’ by the BBC and is regularly presenting The Culture Show, the most likely candidate seems to be Exorcist-loving hair-slicker and one of my old occasional lecturers, acid-tongued Mark Kermode. He could wrap himself up in a black caped outfit and become Exorcist Man, perching gargoyle-like on the edges of desks with his aerodynamic hair to witter about the merits of child-bothering ghost movies before leaping off to grab idiot superhero film-makers by the throat and banishing them with a flourish to Beyond Time. William Friedkin could be his sidekick, and he could have a lair underneath the University of Southampton.

Superhuman Regards

Biolab

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Love, Loss And Dark Secrets: I Can’t Wait For Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go

Posted by Biolab on August 27, 2010

Ripples of excitement are coursing through my mechanical heart as my eyeballs eagerly await the release of Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go. Romanek was one of my favourite music video directors in my formative years, creating visual feasts and eyeball-seducing confections for the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Fiona Apple, R.E.M., and the ridiculous space-fiesta babbling of the Michael/Janet Jackson breathe-fest Scream. His debut feature film, One Hour Photo (6.8/10), was initially a mild disappointment but on repeated viewings remains interesting, and so it is with eager eyes and rapidly beating heart I await Never Let Me Go.

The film has been chosen to open the BFI London Film Festival on October 13th 2010, and amid the terror and uncertainty of the world at the moment, that can only be a good thing.

LOOKING FORWARD TO A KICKING

This Never Let Me Go is an adaptation of the 2005 Booker Prize shortlisted novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, and stars Kiera Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield as three friends who shared an unusual upbringing in a strangely isolated English boarding school and are now discovering that the idiosyncrasies of that upbringing are all part of a wider design that is not yet clear to them, a plan that potentially threatens their adult future. I’m not immediately sure about Kiera Knightley, but that’s more down to my own petty closed-mindedness than anything else, as she’s definitely a talented actress and more than capable of shining here. Given the right material she’s likely to pack a satisfying punch, and all the pieces sound in place for this to be a great piece of cinema. The screenplay is by Alex Garland (author of The Beach, and screenwriter for 28 Days Later (7.5/10) and Sunshine, 8/10), which only adds to my feeling that the stars are aligning on this one. A mix of romance, mystery, faint sci-fi, intense drama, and a melancholy aura of menace, I’m hoping for a sumptuous visual treat and an intelligently emotional kicking that will leave me rasping in the throat, lap-dancing in the brain, and sputtering in my spiteful little eyes.

STOP MOANING AND LICK MY RETINAS

As I mentioned, Romanek is one of those names that gives me confidence, and makes me think this will be a well-paced and beautifully constructed film approached from a serious standpoint and with a strikingly arresting visual style to it that will make it a treat to watch. I’m always moaning about the constant bombardment of explosions and blind mind-numbing idiot pixels that us poor cinema audiences are constantly exposed to, and so it will be a refreshing change to have SFX replaced by character-driven and intelligent story-telling for once and remind ourselves of what film can achieve without all the razzle dazzle pointlessness of the brainmelts we’ve all been flocking to like twatlets lately.

Initial response from those who have been lucky enough to see the movie already have been overwhelmingly positive, praising the quality of the acting and screenplay, the unsettling haunted atmosphere and immaculately pitched visuals. All in all, I can’t wait for this to start licking my retinas and gently nuzzling against my brainbox like a well-spoken foxy cutie.  

Here are some links to whet your appetite as much as your pants.

Trailer for the movie: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kymQcM4ej3w

Official Site: www.foxsearchlight.com/neverletmego/

Uncharacteristically Fawning Regards

Biolab

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Some People Put The Stupidest Things On Their CVs- Here’s A List Of My Favourites (Non Film Post)

Posted by Biolab on August 27, 2010

Again, my apologies for the diversion from my usual ranting focus on film, but I was greatly amused by this list and thought I’d share it in the hope it might brighten the dark day of some other drone somewhere.

Over the past few years working in Recruitment I’ve seen an awful lot of people’s CVs. Some of them are good, some are bad, some are wildly irrelevant. Once you’ve seen 100, you feel like you’ve seen them all. And when you’ve seen 100 in one afternoon then you start to get CV blindness. That’s when I start looking intently at the interests people list on their CV. Most people just list the usual trinity of ‘reading, socialising, going to the cinema’, which is about as exciting and original as a Vin Diesel movie for kids. But sometimes, tantalizingly rarely, people let down their guard and put totally ludicrous, nonsensical, or sometimes downright inappropriate things down. And some of these are appallingly funny.

Here are some of my favourites below. I absolutely promise you that all of these are genuine and I haven’t altered the wording, spelling, or anything else in any way. Enjoy (if you can).

PABLUM BIOLAB’S FAVOURITE AMUSING CV INTERESTS

  • “I also like to travel to my favorite destinations.”
  • “Enjoys … following a strict diet due to a ceoliac (gluten allergy) condition.”
  • “concentrating whilst being imaginative.”
  • “Using the computer and learning new things”
  • “I …. like spending time with my wife and friends.”
  • “Reading Jackie Collins Books”
  • “Passive interest in dog showing and breeding.”
  • “Welsh Rugby Supporter (I am receiving medical attention for this condition.)”
  • “Cardiff City Supporter (Please note supporting Cardiff does not stop me taking a keen interest in football)”
  • “Interests include gardening and personal development.”
  • “ultra marathons”
  • “Professional Cake Icing.”
  • “Agatha Christie. Yes, collected the whole series.”
  • “developing knowledge, and enjoying life”
  • “I love Mexican food. My passion in life is burritos, unabashedly.”
  • “Since a young age, I swam competitively, and continue to swim recklessly regularly.”
  • “As an 18 year old I am motivated solely by one thing; success.”
  • “To seek knowledge in everything and to grow in intellectual capability. To constantly learn, develop and improve. To do everything I undertake with perfection”
  • “Member in HAM CLUB”
  • “Music, reading, and listening to people.”
  • “hanging out in pubs”
  • “Ranked 13th across the UK in Pro Evolution Soccer in 2006/7”
  • “Hobbies including working with (or simply watching!) animals and plants”
  • “My lifetime goals and objectives are to gain a high standard of degree from the University of Leeds in Management having always been interested in the world of business, and go on to become a content and hardworking, enthusiastic individual.”
  • “When I look at what I have achieved over the last 10 years in the telecommunication industry it proves I am determined to succeed.”
  • ‘The DaVinci Code’; ‘The Great Gatsby’; ‘Othello’; ‘Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe’; ‘Angels and Demons’; ‘Maria Callas: A Life’; ‘The Kite Runner’; ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’; ‘Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive’; ‘The Great Expectations’; ‘Of Mice and Men’; ‘Michael Jackson: Biography’
  • “observing people’s behavior”
  • “I am a member of a local pantomime company who put on an annual traditional family pantomime each year. For several years I have played the Dame.”
  • “Cacti and Succulents:  I am and have been a qualified judge for over 5 years and have grown Cacti and succulents for nearly 20 years”
  • “caring for the humanity”
  • “Live Role Play, a team based mock combat activity.”
  • “surfing the internet (price comparison websites)”
  • “dabbling in Conjuring”
  • “Photography so to develop the ability to look at common situation in a different way & from a different perspective.”
  • “Reading fictional & non-fictional material so that both creative & rational thinking can be developed.”
  • “walking on the beach or through the forest”
  • “I am very keen on take scenery pictures. I may photograpgh one scenery of different time”
  • “Time is very valuable and it should be always used to achieve optimum results and I believe it should not be played around with”
  •  “I belive that weakness is the first level of strength, given the right attitude and driving force. My school advised me to fix my punctuality…”
  • “with my bar manager experience I believe that within 3 years I can be a successful manager at your company.”
  • “I am a very sociable individual and enjoy having conversations both politically and humorously.”
  • “I am married with five dependent daughters, a dog, two cats, four rabbits and a three legged hamster. Enjoy any activity involving my children.”
  • “I love driving too and really enjoyed my time on the buses and still have a keen ambition to drive an articulated lorry but do not think that one will materialise. I think as I have got older, and I seem to gain more knowledge generally, I feel more confident in myself and very willing to learn more and maybe achieve more before I become too old or stupid to do so due to the mature years taking their toll.”
  • “Although I have high personal benchmarks, I am passionate about sharing success with others, which I enjoy by playing badminton every so often.”

I particuarly like the person who believes that time is very valuable and should not be played around with. Clearly someone who becomes incredibly angry when anyone mentions Quantum Leap. “DON’T TRIVIALISE TIME!”

Continuing the childish giggling humour of this post, here’s a link to a cookery page belonging to The Telegraph newspaper. The paper likes to think it’s all very high end and intelligent, but this recipe is completely packed with spelling errors! http://bestbritishrecipes.telegraph.co.uk/recipe/1400/Warm%20Ceaser%20Salad 

Chucklesome Regards

 Biolab

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Excitement Down Below! David Fincher To Direct Disney’s New 20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea

Posted by Biolab on August 26, 2010

Put on your best sea-faring garb and prepare to get excited about wrestling with a giant octopus all over again (after the mega disappointment of Mega Shark Vs Mega Octopus (2/10), which was mega only in name- and in disappointment) as news breaks that David Fincher is set to direct the next Disney ride to get a movie, 20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea! Potentially exciting news? I think so!

LEG-CROSSING EXCITEMENT DESPITE NO CEREBRAL KISS CHASE

 Obviously, we’ve all seen the 1954 Disney original with James Mason acting mysteriously as if he’d just been hit on the head as Captain Nemo and the plastic squid battling antics therein, and many of us will have ridden on the underwhelming under the sea ride at one of Disney’s sprawling theme parks, but I can barely contain my excitement at the news that a new movie version is coming to our (no doubt 3D IMAX) screens sometime soon!

Actually, that’s a total lie. I can more than contain my excitement, and to prove it I cross my legs in your general direction and think of something entirely unexcitedly different, like the 2 pointless Avatar sequels that will shortly be razzle-dazzling their way in front of our eyes and not making any effort at all to play kiss chase with our hearts and brains.

 PIRATICAL ASIDE

 That said, I’d really love this to be a success. Disney have shown that they can turn a ride into a decent crowd pleasing movie with the first Pirates of the Caribbean (8/10), which I really enjoyed, and so with the right talent on board I’ve got high hopes for this 20, 000 Leagues. Although money-hungry twat hounds did follow up Pirates 1 with two absolutely awful sequels which were the filmic equivalent of someone prising up your fingernails and replacing them with Russell Brand’s no doubt hilariously asinine DVDs whilst kicking your dog in the head and kicking you in the balls (testicles or ovaries, depending). Incredibly, the big wig bog brains are also readying a fresh piratical voyage into unending monotony (https://pablumbiolab.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/piratesofthecaribbean4/), so be sure not to watch that space.

 FAECAL IN A POSITIVE SENSE

 But still, the news that Fincher has bumped the odiously untalented McG (whose filmmaking talent resembles a particularly leprous and amourous smegma mite aggressively forcing its seeping wounds into your guzzlehutch) from the 20, 000 Leagues project can only be good news. I make no secret of my admiration for Fincher’s work, especially the criminally underrated Alien3 (9.2/10). Although his most recent movies (The Neverending Film Of Benjamin Button (6/10) and the going nowhere slowly enigma of Zodiac, 5.5/10) have been disappointing, I am always heartened by his run of excellent movies in the 1990s- Alien3, The Game (8/10), Se7en (8/10), Fight Club (8.5/10), even perhaps Panic Room (7/10). Each of those films is packed with visual panache, sensitively paced and well wrought drama, unexpected moments of delight, and ultimate punch packing satisfaction. Fincher’s cut of Alien3 may well be my favourite of that trilogy (Alien Resurrection (2.5/10) simply doesn’t count, and is a turd that deserves to be flushed out of the toilet of reality for ever), with its brooding sense of menace and slowly unfolding melancholy all wrapped up in a sickly greenish brown faecal murk and endlessly beautiful corridors. And for once I mean the word faecal in a really positive sense. Like the sun intermittently breaking through scattered cloud cover, Button and Zodiac both have their moments of Fincher’s genius shining through, but both are fatally flawed by being overlong and lacking the narrative energy to propel you effectively through their lengthy running times. I struggled to really identify or engage with either. I don’t hold up high hopes for Fincher being able to make the story of Facebook interesting with the forthcoming The Social Network or for his slightly unnecessary remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (why not just watch the original?), but a fizz-banging undersea fantasy? I’m interested.

 BIG SALTY KISS (NOT COCK PUS)

20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea may be just what Fincher needs to really grip us by the throat and drag us under the waves for a big salty kiss. It should be a gripping and propulsive rollicking thrill ride under the ocean, but with enough dark spaces for the audience to take a breath and goggle our weary eyeballs at some wondrous scenery. Tight plotting, a bit of realism mixed with the fantasy, a retro sensibility (keeping the CG nonsense to a minimum), and strong performances based on an intelligently written script should help. If Fincher’s later work sometimes lacks the narrative punch to keep us going in the final third, 20, 000 Leagues should allow him to remedy that problem in style.

The movie is being scripted by Scott Z Burns, who also worked on The Bourne Ultimatum and The Informant!, which hopefully this means it will be saved from being another vacuous piece of blockbuster cock pus for pea brained fart howlers. To add to my excitement for this movie, co-writer Randall Wallace has been making encouraging noises about his time spent working on the project. Apparently it has real ‘heart and a more realistic lucidness than what we would think of as the normal fantasy fare’, and Wallace has also been at pains to point out that he’s no fan of idiot pixels either. I’d like to see a return to the good old days of model shots and a total absence of iPhone inspired onscreen snazzy graphics and cutting edge computer wet dreaming. I’d be quite happy if the only computer in the movie whirred incompetently in the background, asked you questions about DOS, and had a monitor that took up half the Nautilus itself.

 PLENTY OF TIME TO BUGGER

 The movie isn’t going to be out for a while though. Fincher has just been announced as joining the project, and they’re still scripting it at this stage, so there’s plenty of time for them to totally bugger it up and maybe even hire some amazingly talented brain-raping director like Judd Apatow or John Woo to flash and dazzle it up or fill it full of vacuous dead-eyed jokes about bum cracks delivered by assholes, so I’m not holding my breath just yet. Fincher also has to work on his Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which I’ll probably resolutely ignore in favour of something more interesting.

All in all I hope 20, 000 Leagues Under The Sea is going to be all it can be (a wonderful piece of intelligent escapist fantasy) rather than all it probably will be (akin to going to bed with a gorgeous piece of loveliness and then waking up the next morning to find her/his face has been replaced by a gaping chasm of sewer vomit oozing with maggots and pus and with Janiston inspiring wonderful hair).

 Deeply Submerged Regards

 Biolab

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Review Round Up: Thoughts On What Has Been Rattling My Cage Recently

Posted by Biolab on August 26, 2010

We all know only too well that living in the 21st century we have never had so much information at our fingertips. There are more demands on our attention that at any other time, and we are constantly surrounded by words and facts and figures and opinions of various use, some of them wholly ambient, some of them aggressively tapping us in the head and yelling in our poor little ears.

In the interest of being one of those screamy ranty voices but also potentially saving you some time if you’re looking for something to rent or download, here are some thoughts on what has been skinnydipping in front of my glazed eyeballs recently….

The Illusionist, Dir. Neil Burger, USA 2006

Solid, entertaining and quietly engrossing magic-themed drama. Ed Norton may or may not be an illusionist who can summon up spirits of the dead by concentrating very hard and holding out his hand like a Jedi. Either way, he’s causing political unrest and falling in love in turn of the century Vienna. This is a bookishly involving and idiosyncratic romantic drama with a great score by Philip Glass and some solidly convincing performances. Burger makes good use of some early silent era editing and framing techniques to give the film a memorable and unusual feel that sidesteps the pitfall of being a gimmick and adds a real charm to the film. This is a decent movie that suffered being released so close to Chris Nolan’s superb The Prestige, but is well worth your time.

Feels Like: A selection of high quality chocolates given to you as a gift. Sumptuously crafted and mostly tasty, there are always some you like more than others. 7.7/10

Intolerable Cruelty, Dir. Joel Coen, USA 2003

The usually decent George Clooney struggles to create any chemistry with the dull Catherine Zeta Jones in the Coen Brothers’ romantic comedy about a divorce lawyer and a gold-digger who may or may not be in love with each other. Unfortunately, the characters never really come alive, so it’s hard to care too much one way or the other. The movie gets off to a great screwball, high energy start, but then fails to keep the momentum needed to keep you interested throughout, despite a brief and spirited appearance by Billy Bob Thornton. This is not funny enough to be a classic comedy or engaging enough to work effectively as a romance. It’s a rare disappointment from the Coens that I wouldn’t want to watch again.

Feels Like: Waking up on your birthday to find you are all alone, and it’s raining and you have to go to work. Disappointing. 5/10 

In The Company Of Men, Dir. Neil LaBute, USA/CANADA 1997

Bitter and enjoyably mean-spirited stagey comedy(?) drama. Two high-powered male executives hatch a plan to get revenge on womankind for their failed romances by toying with and ultimately seeking to destroy a vulnerable deaf girl. Well played, well scripted, and a serious piece of work, this small movie comes across as if it could be a stage play. The business setting, with its huge-monitored computers, beepers, and massive car phones is as dated as the gender politics hopefully is (but isn’t), but this is an engrossing film that is recommended if you don’t mind watching with a bitter aftertaste in your mouth. Enjoyable may not be the word, but this is involving and holds your attention.

Feels Like: Forcing yourself to eat a whole lemon but quite enjoying it somehow. Or getting into a scalding hot bath after drinking a bottle of cheap tequila. 7.5/10

Nightbreed, Dir. Clive Barker, USA 1990

Unforgivably messy but incredibly imaginative adaptation of Clive Barker’s novel Cabal. This is a hugely disappointing movie that at the hands of a more skilled director and a more open minded studio could have been some sort of genre classic rather than a confused morass of half-baked ideas and stunted dreams. The incredibly wooden and lifeless Boone (Craig Sheffer), framed for a series of murders by his psychologist (bizarrely, David Cronenberg, proving he should stay behind the camera rather than in front) is killed by police and then resurrected in the secret underground world of Midian, home to the Nightbreed, a vicious and fantastic assortment of monsters. Everything in this film remains underdeveloped and ill-defined, as Boone’s crossover to the monster world brings on a total war between the humans and the Nightbreed that despite a decent amount of explosions fails to provide the climax the film desperately needs.

This should have been a romping success, driven by the fertile imagination we expect from Barker, but his direction is messy and confused, and the acting utterly abysmal. Barker hoped for a sequel, and produced a film that lasted two and a half hours, but after intense disagreements with the studio, the film was cut to nearer 90 minutes and advertised as a slasher rather than a monster movie. But unfortunately, however the movie was marketed, it is just too much of a botched job to succeed. Danny Elfman contributes a terrific score that reminded me of how great his work used to be, but that alone can’t save the breathless confusion that Nightbreed rapidly descends into.

Barker has talked about his desire to release a vastly extended version of the movie that will be truer to his original vision, but on this evidence it’s not going to be worth it. This is a film that deserves to be remade, credibly and competently. If it ever is, it could be a classic. As it stands, it’s a devastating missed opportunity.

Feels Like: Dropping your ice cream on the ground as soon as you walk away from the ice cream van. Bitterly disappointing and frustrating. 3.6/10

Teeth, Dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein, USA 2007

Abstaining die-hard Christian teen’s battles with would-be boyfriends and disturbed siblings are further complicated by the murderously sharp teeth lurking inside her vagina. Sounds like the ideal premise for a ridiculous gore romp complete with some growling gnashers from the nether portions, but unfortunately that isn’t what Lichtenstein has served up.

Instead, the movie seems dead set on walking that fine and dangerous line between a movie with a serious point, and a movie with a murderous vagina in it. This is a bleakly comic and absurd gore flick (with some fairly good gore scenes) that unfortunately ends up falling between two camps. On one side it’s trying to be trashy/funny, but the serious finger-pointing desire to make a criticism against the obsessive abstinence movement means it is being pulled in two directions and fails to deliver on either score. It’s not funny, silly, gory, or ridiculous enough to succeed on the one hand, and fails to engage as a more serious piece on the other. Enjoyably diverting, but no classic.

Feels Like: Seducing a hot teenage girl only to find she has teeth in her vagina. Not quite what you wanted or expected. 5/10

Hope these thoughts are of some use to you as you navigate the minefield of entertainment time.

Helpful Regards

B-lab

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Wake Up: Time To Die (or not, as it would seem)!

Posted by Airlock on August 25, 2010

Biolab is right: there’s something about the sci-fi-thriller genre that grabs you by the lobes and turns your head until it twists it off the wretched stump. Thank god for film-makers like Christopher Nolan and Duncan Jones. Without the likes of them, us Sci-Fi fans would be hoping that we’ll soon be crunched under the wheels of an oncoming robotic tank drone killer just to experience something visceral without the tedium. Unlike the upcoming Skyline, which is destined to be non-visceral tediousness in its most tediously non-visceral form.
 
In my metallic mind, Inception can only be perceived as a success and I’m also ridiculously excited about the next TWO upcoming Duncan Jones movies, but more on those in a bloody minute.
 
INCEPTION – A Dream Realised That I Realised I Shared
It’s a summer blockbuster in the sci-fi-thiller mould which, unlike Arnie with a rocket launcher, has proved that it doesn’t have to be dumb if it’s big. A massive part of that is the trust that Warner Bros. has put in Chris Nolan. He may now be an established blockbuster film-maker but it could have been so easy for those ham-fisted, brain-gnawing film execs to fiddle and fuddle with Nolan’s vision like that drunk guy at the party who can’t help but derail the mood of the evening by shouting nonsense movie dialogue and barking obscenities. Nolan and any other film-maker is only able to produce something of real note with a team around them that they can trust implicitly…. and Nolan’s got that – be it Editor Lee Smith or Cinematographer Wally Pfister (great interview here), Nolan knows what he likes and knows that he can rely on those around him to deliver.

Inception: big, but not dumb

 

REVIEW
I was so engrossed whilst watching Inception that when I left the cinema it took a few seconds to adjust to reality. Nolan managed to convey the dream like state without things appearing unnecessarily surreal (are you paying attention Dr Parnassus?). A big part of that is the use of editing – it not only helped the film to keep its momentem during the ‘real world’ scenes but was as much a part of the dream world as the crumbling cities and rotating corridors. In one of the opening scenes we see Leo scaling a wall – CUT – he’s on the landing – CUT – he’s halfway down the staircase. As it’s pointed out in the film, in a dream you never question the mechanics and can never remember how you got from one side of the room to the other – you just did.
Then there was the narrative. No one can seem to manage to tell a tale like Nolan. Pretty complex storylines delivered with real clarity. It’s as if Nolan’s brain is like a tap with almost limitless ideas pouring from it. If the film execs provide him with a large enough vessel; he’ll judge it just right so as to fill the movie with ideas but stop before it either spills into a zany incoherent mess or becomes too heavy to handle.
Inception (and the Batman movies too) could have ended up as another clanked out mess from Hollywood Explosions Inc. but it didn’t. The reason for this is not because Nolan restricts his films by using as little CGI as possible, rather it’s because he is such a great film-maker that he knows when to use it (the needs of the film are described by the CGI, not the other way around).
 
Feels like: having a dream that you saw a film called Inception, fell asleep in the cinema and started dreaming that you were in the film. 8+/10
  
SOURCE CODE – wake up, relive an explosion
So with Inception now just behind us we turn our bleary, blinkered eyeballs to scan what else is on the radar that might provide some sustenance for the Sci-Fi hungry brain.
 
Next Spring Duncan Jones will be releasing ‘Source Code’. The guy who last year gave us the taut and wonderful ‘Moon’ moves up a notch with something which sounds like it will grip your mind and explode little sparks of pleasure in your eyes. Like a Groundhog Day/Run Lola Run type of film crossed with a who-done-it thriller, the film is to centre on Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role as a soldier who wakes up in the body of a commuter and has to keep experiencing a terrorist bombing until he figures out who the hell done it and why. That sounds like it could be good, in a Chris Nolan type way right?!
 
And if Source Code is a commercial success, (and why wouldn’t it be? If it’s marketed right it should draw the idiot guys who like explosions but also the idiot chicks who will be there just for Gyllenhaal) then perhaps Mute will be given a bigger budget….?!
 
MUTE
What the hell is Mute? Who the hell are you? What the hell is Mute?
 
Set in the same universe as Moon, Duncan Jones describes Mute as a “love letter to Blade Runner“. Considering Jones’ patience displayed in Moon we’re on the right side of the line – which really does excite me a lot.
 
Mute is “a big city mystery story that takes place in a future Berlin” and is about a woman whose disappearance causes a mystery for her partner, a mute bartender. When she disappears, he has to go up against the city’s gangsters. Come on, check out the concept art below, and blow them a kiss:

Liberty Films: Mute Concept Art

 

Moon was a fantastic low-key movie that intertwined a feel of space with a deep-felt loneliness. It was an absolute pleasure on the eyes and ears and Jones managed to reel things in at just the right time, just before it felt like you might drift off into outer-space. If you haven’t seen the movie I would strongly advise it. Just check out the title sequence here and tell me you aren’t excited for Source Code and Mute!!

Liberty Films: Moon

 

Lucid Regards,
Airlock

 

 

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A Rogue Cop Addicted To Anxiety, Coffee, And Chocolate: Split Second Is A Lost Bargain Genre Classic

Posted by Biolab on August 25, 2010

As part of my weekly arrangement to explore the murky underworld of straight to DVD and bargain basement genre movies in the hope of finding a lost gem, I returned to a movie I had enjoyed greatly in my youth, Split Second (8/10*). I remember buying this in Woolworths as a two for £5 deal when I was in my early teens. My other choice was the ever so slightly underrated Super Mario Brothers (5.5/10).

Split Second is far better. In fact, I’d go so far as to label it one of those rare classics in its admittedly stagnant field. The near zero budget, genre-fixated B-Movie landscape is crowded with bloated wastes of time, total failures of imagination and self-important monuments to supposed (but non-existent) talent (Blood Gnome (0.5/10) being a good example), but Split Second is different. It’s the diamond in the rough. It feels like punching Jennifer Lopez in the face for every moment of torture she’s ever given us (a lot).

RIDICULOUS RAT-FLOODED WORLD WITH HOVERCRAFTS

The movie is set in 2008 (good start), and a rat infested London has been flooded from forty days and nights of continual rainfall- although there is little evidence of that to be seen, despite many lingering shots of a perfectly normal looking Thames. People seem to drive about in ludicrous jeeps or even more preposterous mini-hovercrafts. Everything is dark and the movie seems to be set in perpetual night. Chingrizzling blond meat hunk Rutger Hauer plays renegade cop Harley Stone, a paranoid ex-alcoholic who is as ridiculous as his name suggests. We are told he lives on a diet of anxiety, coffee, and chocolate after his partner was killed in front of him by some unseen killer. Stone then picked up his partner’s girlfriend (Kim Cattrall, definitely the pinnacle of her career), and spiralled out of control. And now the killer is back, cutting the hearts out of its victims and taking huge bites out of them as if it were Jennifer Aniston. But fear not, it isn’t.

HOWLING, RANTING, CHEWING

Best known for his unhinged performance in Blade Runner, Hauer howls and rants his way through this movie, chewing up the scenery with cheerful abandon but never letting on that he’s not to be taken seriously. He stomps down moody corridors in a truly ludicrous leather jacket and boots, brandishing a gun the size of a tree trunk and wearing sunglasses seemingly borrowed from Woody Harrelson’s character in Natural Born Killers. He smokes cigars, lives with pigeons, and is unnecessarily aggressive to everyone he meets, including his new and rather bookish partner, Dick Durkin. And all the while he’s pursuing a huge DNA-collecting rubber monster that may or may not be the devil but which, despite its oversized claws, is still able to write things like ‘I’m Back’ and ‘For You’ on things very neatly in human blood. Split Second is a movie that is clearly in thrall to the Tech Noir gloom of The Terminator and monster mash terror of films like Alien and Predator, but clearly doesn’t have the budget to scale those heights and approaches the whole business with all the stops pulled out and its eyes bugging out of its massive little skull. It’s a film all the stronger for its awareness of its limitations and its contentedness to realise its place in the movie landscape and play within that. It’s happy to be itself and doesn’t need the constant slow motion clanking explosions that have bored us all to tears in eye-blinding, brain-freezing spectacles like Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and Terminator: Salvation. In fact, Split Second is far more enjoyable than either of those. Inside its own world, it’s a great success.

OVER THE TOP HURTLING AND DOG TALKING

Everything about this movie is gloriously over the top- from the clunking ridiculous synth-heavy soundtrack (clearly aping the template laid down by The Terminator), to the preposterously aggressive and furious pace with which anything happens in the movie. When we first see Hauer’s character he screamingly rattles his own cage, chases rats down an alleyway as a thumping heartbeat and some incredibly silly heavy breathing play over the action, and mutters gibberish abuse into the night. He fills half a cup up with sugar and half with coffee and then stirs it with a hapless colleague’s pen before opening a freeze box containing a half-eaten heart and muttering intensely at it and acting surprised. Anything that happens, even the tiniest detail, is delivered at a heightened and frenetic pace that reflects Stone’s pumped up and strung out state of mind, and there are enough geniusly daft moments to ensure you never get a chance to be bored. We witness Stone and Durkin hurtling sullenly down a corridor like moody teenagers in a rush muttering, ‘Get lost’ and ‘Get out of my way, you fuck’ to random passersby. At one point Stone talks seriously to a dog before calling it a ‘dickhead.’ What’s not to like?

GORDON RAMSAY

*In its own field, with its own limitations and the expectations we can reasonably have of it, this movie has nothing wrong with it- hence the high score I’d give it out of ten. It delivers on its promise. Obviously it’s not Citizen Kane, and it’s not aspiring to be anything it’s not- which is more than you can say for most of the pigs’ garbage we have to contend with at the megacineplex. Split Second has ludicrous lines and action, a half-decent plot, breakneck pacing, and a pleasing amount of gore also. You can really get a sense that they’ve got the most out of a limited budget, and the movie looks better than you might expect. A number of now famous British actors make appearances (Pete Postlethwaite, Alun Armstrong), and at one point even a Gordon Ramsay look-a-like shows his leathery face as some hapless data-entry clerk. Why it’s called Split Second is anyone’s guess, as it seems to be totally arbitrary as a title. The movie is closer in tone (and more successful) than either of the recent entries in the Terminator franchise, and begs the question that if a bargain basement straight to video movie like this can achieve that why couldn’t Jonathan Mostow or McG?

Insert your own spiteful comment.

Rubber Monster Hunting Regards

Biolab

Split Second IMDB entry here: www.imdb.com/title/tt0105459/

Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nycE98gSB0w

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A Reason I’m Quitting My Job: The Arrogance Of Strangers (Non Film Related Post)

Posted by Biolab on August 25, 2010

Rrrrrr! In a total break from the usual Pablum From The (bio)Lablum, this has got nothing to do with Film. If you’re after film, try here: https://pablumbiolab.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/piranha3d/

 ARROGANT AND BLINKERED

 For the past 3 years I have been working in the world of Executive Search, which is basically headhunting very senior people with highly developed and niche skills from major global corporations. The hours are long and I’m not ideally suited to this sort of work. I don’t enjoy it, and so I’m getting out. That said, most of the people I have spoken with (and who often become candidates and valued contacts) have been very open, helpful, and friendly. There have been a few self-obsessed assholes though whose foul stench has stuck in my throat and made me physically sick.

Below is an incredibly arrogant and blinkered email I received this week, my last week in the job. It’s emblematic of the ‘us and them’ mentality I’ve encountered in some tosspots at this level; people who seem to believe that they are better in some way than everybody else. People who in my view seem to think they are above living in a society and are intent on squatting on everybody else and selfishly curling one out on the rest of the world.

This ‘person’ was one of a huge volume of applicants (200+) from an advertisement I placed. My instruction from the client company was to give them three individuals who could do their job, on an ASAP basis. These didn’t need to be the best three, just the first three. Clearly it is not possible to engage on an individual basis with all 200+ applicants and argue the toss with them about why they have or haven’t been included. That would take all day, and I wouldn’t have time to make the tea. This applicant sent his details through a week after the ad had closed and seems to think he deserves special treatment, despite not being anywhere near the most compelling on paper.

Hope this raises a smile or clenches a fist.

EMAIL FROM A TRULY MAGNAMINOUS, TALENTED, AND HUMBLE INDIVIDUAL; A TALENTED GENTLEMAN COURAGEOUSLY NOBLE IN MIND AND HEART [my italics below]

“Pablum [apparently we’re on first name terms],

All I can say is the person must be bl##dy good to match my level of skill and experience in Interim Marketing Directorships. I have lead the way in the UK for the last 11 years! Hey ho.

As polite but direct feedback for your business, I am not used to getting ‘Dear John’ type responses either! Most of my work is through my board-level FTSE 250 network and occasionally through intermediaries like yourself.

The top Interim-supply firms realise it is more about a long-term relationship with C-level, A-grade Professional interims like myself. This is not a ‘stopgap/temp’ arrangement- so I thought it might merit a bit more care and attention than a ‘stock reply’!! [You thought wrong!]

Best wishes

Mr J Aniston”

MY EMAIL THAT ORIGINALLY CAUSED ALL THE OFFENCE

“Dear Reasonable Human Being

Many thanks for your recent application for the interim position we recently advertised on Mega Executive Application. My apologies for the delay in responding; we have received a very positive response to this advertisement. As such we have been in the fortunate position of being able to match very precisely to the ideal requirements for the role.

Unfortunately, at this stage you have not been selected to progress further. However, should the situation change, or should we receive other opportunities that may be of interest to you, we will look to get in touch.

 Again, many thanks for your interest in this position, and your patience in awaiting a response.

 My best wishes for your search.

 Kind Regards

 Pablum Biolab”

 ***************************************************************************************************

 And now, back to my usual rantings about movies. (eg. https://pablumbiolab.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/jamescameron/)

 Apologies for the bitter detour.

 Executive Regards

 Biolab

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